Capirinha and Cachaça

How to Make Caipirinha
Yes, I think I am feeling a bit nostalgic, after Feijoada and Manjar Branco let’s talk about some stronger Brazilian stuff :-)

Caipirinha is the traditional Brazilian drink made with Cachaça and I can’t start talking about it before introducing you to this 100% Brazilian product.

The name Cachaça (say Caxassa) can only be used to denominate the distilled sugar cane alcoholic beverage produced in Brazil.   Cachaça is different from rum (that is also a distilled product of sugar cane) because rum is usually made from molasses while cachaça is made from fresh sugar cane juice.

Legend says that it comes from the slavery times when the slaves used to work producing sugar from sugar cane.  The process to obtain the sugar was to extract the sugar from the cane, boil it and leave it to cool down in moulds to make the rapadura.  Sometimes the juice would ferment and was discarded but some slaves would drink it and that was the beginning of the Cachaça story. There are lots of controversy about it though…

One thing is sure – Exporting Cachaça might be the most lucrative business ever!!! Here is Australia a bottle of 51 and Pitu will cost around 50 dollars. These brands are industrial Cachaças and they not well regarded at all by people that really enjoy Cachaça - now have a look at a couple of examples:

No further comments here.    Anyway, next time a friend of your comes from Brazil ask him/her for a nice Cachaça Artesanal from Salinas or if you are really keen a bottle of Havana (Anísio Santiago) or Germana. A bottle of Havana aged for 8 years will cost you as much as a good bottle of Whiskey.

You don’t need to use an excellent Cachaça to make Caipirinha though… a bottle of Sagatiba will do the trick (although now you know you are paying more than 10 times the price you would in Brazil).

You can make Caipirinha of Vodka or white Rum but is just not the same. The traditional one is with Cachaça and Lime but you can find some very creative ones with passion fruit, jaboticaba, strawberries… A friend of mine used to make an awesome one with Chillies and Ginger and I will try to put my hands in this recipe for you guys but for now, I've already spoken too much. I introduce you to the traditional Brazilian Caipirinha.

Ahhh! One last piece of advice, it is very easy to get drunk with it! It is very refreshing and easy to drink but remember, that’s at least 38% of alcohol. Moderation. :-)

Serves: 1 Cost:$$ | Difficulty:  Easy | Time: 10min
Author: A Classic by Rachel Elich
  • 1 Lime
  • 2 Tablespoons Caster Sugar
  • 50 ml Cachaça
  • Enough Ice to fill 3/4 of a 250ml glass
  1. Cut a small slice of each side of the lime (the tips) and discard
  2. Cut the lime if half, remove the white part in the middle of the lime to prevent bitter flavor
  3. Slice the Lime finely,  cut one of the slices a bit thicker to garnish
  4. Put all the slices except the one to be used to garnish in a 250ml glass
  5. Add the two tablespoons of caster sugar
  6. Using a muddler or a wooden spoon, mash the limes with the sugar
  7. Fill the glass with the ice
  8. Pour the Cachaça into the glass and mix well with a spoon or a straw
  9. Garnish with the remaining slice of lime

Sound Track with two Brazilian genius to chill while enjoying your Caipirinha :-)

The Untamed Cook

Rachel Elich is a globetrotting, computer engineer, project manager, designer, untamed cook extraordinaire who backpacks around the world. Along the way on adventures, Rachel has adopted and incorporated international influences into all aspects of her creative work endeavours.

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